Brian Cohen, CUNY Vice Chancellor and CIO

Brian Cohen

Vice Chancellor for Technology and University CIO

Brian Cohen joined The City University of New York (CUNY) as its Chief Information Officer (CIO) in December 2001. As the Vice-Chancellor for Technology and University CIO, Cohen directs the Office of Computing and Information Services (CIS), which supports the enterprise IT needs of the University and houses its data center. He is also responsible for developing the University’s technology strategy and providing leadership and direction with respect to the operation of CUNY’s technology systems, core business applications, voice and data networks, IT Security, data center operations as well as the implementation of the University’s enterprise resource planning project (CUNYfirst).

Cohen has taken multiple steps to ensure that CUNY has state-of-the art, cost-effective technology in areas as disparate as student registration to emergency management. In addition to bringing the Blackboard learning system to CUNY Cohen has developed and spearheaded CUNYfirst – a major multi-year effort to replace over 25 disparate, antiquated university systems that support student administration, financial management and human resource management with one fully integrated solution. He was also instrumental in developing CUNY Alert, a customized, campus-centered emergency messaging system built upon a single university-wide platform.

To develop and coordinate technology strategy, Cohen co-chairs the IT Steering Committee composed of campus CIOs. The Committee meets monthly to develop technology strategy across CUNY campuses and has been key in reducing IT costs through aggregate purchases of enterprise services.

Within CIS, Cohen has established the following offices to better serve the CUNY community: a Chief Information Security Officer to ensure that CUNY campuses have the procedures, tools and training necessary to ensure a secure online experience; a Project Management Office to support the development of enterprise solutions through the use of formal project management methods and tools; and a Technology Training Office that coordinates IT professional development activities including IT Leadership Professional Training for all CUNY staff.

Prior to joining CUNY, Cohen served as Deputy Commissioner in the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) from 2000 to 2001. In this role, he was responsible for using technology solutions to support City business operations and overseeing the City’s E-Government Office and internal consulting technology staff. Cohen developed the City of New York’s E-Government strategy and implemented a new website that provides many services traditionally only available by visiting government offices.

From August 1997 to January 2000, Cohen served as Deputy Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Operations – Year 2000 Project Office (Y2K). Prior to this appointment, Cohen worked in various positions in the Mayor’s Office of Operations beginning in 1993. Cohen received a B.S. in Computer Science from St. John’s University and a J.D. from Touro Law School.